In the past, children often helped with household chores. But this trend seems to be disappearing in recent years. According to a study from Braun Research, 82% of adults reported helping with housework when they were kids. But only 28% of them reported making their own children do chores.
There are many possible reasons for parents not to make their kids do chores. Perhaps parents can afford to hire someone else to do the chores for the family. This way, children can focus on their studies and other activities. Or maybe it’s because children actually don’t want to do chores at all.
But doing chores benefits children in many ways. And it’s not just about making them do the housework for the sake of it.
How Children Benefit from Doing Chores
Household chores can be an educational experience for children, especially at a young age. Doing chores can teach your kids to be responsible individuals. And if you give them positive feedback after accomplishing their tasks, they will develop self-esteem. The feedback can build their confidence and make them feel capable.
Participating in household chores at a young age can also help children when they grow up. Dr. Marty Rossman, a professor at the University of Minnesota, found that young adults who had household responsibilities at 3 and 4 years old were more likely to experience success in their careers than those who started during their teen years. This success may be attributed to the life skills that people can learn by doing housework.
Lastly, you can build a positive relationship with your kids by doing chores (and any other activity) together. And this good relationship will improve your children’s emotional intelligence and sense of trust. They’re also more capable of building positive relationships with others as they grow up.
Turning Chores into Family Bonding Time
There are many household chores that parents can do with their children to spend more time with them.
1. Sorting the Laundry
Thanks to technology, doing the laundry is as easy as putting clothes in a washing machine and pressing “Start.” So instead, you can let them help sort the laundry.
Let your kids sort the clothes based on color. This task can teach them the importance of organizing things. Check which ones should be turned inside out. And try turning that task into a game to keep your kids engaged. Divide the clothes and bet on who can finish turning all of them first. The winner gets a reward.
2. Folding the Laundry
Folding the laundry can also be a bonding activity. Show your kids how to fold each type of clothing and point out which should be put on hangers. Then, let your kids fold their own clothes. Don’t forget to compliment them when they finish.
If they’re slow, don’t rush them or scold them for being slow. Any of these actions can leave a bad impression on your kids. Encourage them instead. If you find they’re having a hard time, fold their clothes together.
Cooking can also be a fun and educational time with the kids. Some tasks you can assign to them are washing the vegetables and putting condiments on food while cooking. These tasks will give your kids a feeling of accomplishment. The activity might also encourage them to learn how to cook, which is another important life skill.
You can also ask them questions while you prepare the food. For example, ask them what they’d want to cook next time. Letting them share what’s on their mind will teach them to be comfortable expressing themselves.
4. Cleaning the House
Keeping your home as clean as possible means keeping your family healthy. This means you’ll have to do it often. And you can turn this activity into a family bonding time. It will also teach your children to stay organized and tidy.
You can ask your children to do simple and easy tasks. For example, make them organize their toys after playing. You can also make them sweep the coffee table in the living room and straighten out the throw pillows.
5. Running Errands
You can also run errands together. It doubles as physical exercise, too! Maybe you need to pick up something at the nearby dry cleaners or get mail from your P.O. box. You can ask your kids to join you, but make sure that they’re properly wearing masks when they go out.
Making your kids do household chores isn’t bad. With all the benefits they can get from it, doing chores is for their own sake, too.